Offering dota2 advice, tutoring, and all around

#1 Edited by twigger89 (278 posts) -

Partially in response to the issues raised in this thread and partially to help a community that has been a great place to hang around, I would like to offer my knowledge of dota2 to make it easier for people to get past that initial hump and fall in love with the game.

This consists of answering questions, helping you with builds, explaining current trends in the tourney scene/meta game, working on game mechanics (last hitting, ganking, etc) and really anything else that is related to dota2. I will show you that even though it is a hyper competitive game like sc2, there is a lot of fun to be had just playing the game and trying to find new ways to use/counter certain heroes or combinations.

Here is a link to my dotabuff profile, which should give you a good background into my experience with Dota2. I generally play mid, initiator, or hard carry. I have a pretty good knowledge of all heroes and items, and if there is something I can't answer for you I will find the answer for you.

If you want to set up practice sessions or gameplay introductions, feel free to pm me or add me on steam. It would smooth things along if you can tell me in advance what in particular you want to work on, but if you are brand new to the game and just want a basic overview I can help there as well.

I am sure there are a number of people in this community who would be willing to do the same thing, and I don't consider myself a great dota2 player, I just don't want people to think dota is this unapproachable game or that the community at large is actively hostile to new players. Those first few steps with a game like dota2 are going to be the hardest and I just want to do what I can to smooth that process for people as much as I can so that you can enjoy this incredible game as much as I do.

#2 Posted by CheapPoison (731 posts) -

This is great!

Although i asked in a thread a bit ago if people of the community were interested in coaching or getting coaching but i got no response then.
If this gets any response i am pretty sure more people would be interested in helping new people.

And if the TNT gathers more interest i am sure we can set something up in the community.

#3 Posted by MethodMan008 (810 posts) -

I'm gonna wait for the TNT to see if the game really interests me. I really enjoy some competitive games (fighting games, racing games.. not really shooters) but haven't really played any MOBA or RTS games..

I've got DOTA 2 downloaded and ready to go, so if I like what I see tomorrow I'll be coming hear for advice. :D

#4 Posted by Zrais (144 posts) -

I would certainly be interested..I'm tired of shooting dudes and have been interested in this for awhile. I just started playing some bot matches and am looking into good starting characters.

#5 Edited by POLLIWOG (25 posts) -

Veteran DotA player here as well looking to help out any Giant Bomb members who are thinking or actively trying to get into DotA. My Dota 2 profile can be found Here.

DotA can be very daunting for newcomers. One of the first decisions you have to make is hero selection, which can be difficult seeing as Dota has over 100 heroes. One of the first questions many new players often ask is: "Which heroes are worth learning? I don't want to waste my time learning an underpowered hero." It is important to know that DotA is very balanced and every hero is viable. It is also important to know that generally you should learn many heroes as some are better in different situations. Try out a handful of heroes that fill different roles at first. Once comfortable with them you can start branching out into more advanced heroes.

Here is a short list of a few heroes I personally think are very good for beginners to start with. They cover a wide variety of roles but are generally straight-forward and easy to understand.

1. Tidehunter (Support/Initiator): Personally I think this is the easiest hero for new players starting the game. He has decent survivability as he is naturally tanky, his Q is a single target slow / light nuke, his passive makes you take less damage, and his e is a small aoe nuke that also reduces the right click damage of any hero caught in it for a short period of time. All of this makes him decent during the laning phase, but what really makes Tidehunter shine is his Ultimate. At level 6 grab your ultimate and you suddenly become a teamfight god. Ravage is a massive AOE stun that is fairly easy to pull of successfully. All you have to do is walk toward the enemy team and press R. Ravage as many as you can, press E hitting as many as possible while they are stunned, and then slow one and you've done your job. Leave it up to your team to clean up the rest.

2. Lion (Support/CCer/Nuker): Lion is a great hero when it comes to supporting a carry in lane. He has 2 forms of CC. His Q is an aoe stun in a line coming from Lion. With skill you can hit multiple heroes with this stun. His W is an instant hex which turns a single enemy hero into a frog. His E is a channeling spell that steals mana from a ranged creep or enemy hero which will helps sustain his mana in lane. Lastly, his Ultimate is a massive single target nuke. If you properly execute your combo (W...Q...R) pretty much any squishy hero you catch will easily be eviscerated.

3. Lich (Support/Teamfight Nuker): Lich is a support hero that almost guarantees that his lane will win the laning phase. His Q is a small aoe nuke/slow around the hero/creep it is cast on. His W is a buff that gives allied heroes extra armor and slows the attack/movement speed of attacking melee heroes (you really only need to worry about this in the midgame). Now, his E is what makes him such an annoyance to play against. His E kills an allied creep instantly, completely denying the enemy of any xp and in return gives Lich mana. This basically gives Lich a near-endless mana pool while in lane. Allowing you to harass the enmy constantly by spamming your W right before using E on a creep. Lastly, his Ultimate is a bouncing nuke ultimate that can be a bit tricky to land well. The ideal situation is to have multiple enemy heroes grouped up with no enemy creeps around as the nuke can be nearly a complete waste is it bounces to enemy creeps (the bounces are random).

4. Skeleton King (Carry): Skeleton King is a solid carry choice for new players. His Q is a single target stun/slow/nuke/dot that is great for initiating kills. His Q is also his only active ability. His first passive gives him lifesteal, which is great for keeping his health up in lane and also allows him to kill jungle creeps as well. His second passive gives him a chance to critically strike when swinging his sword. Besides only have one active spell, his ultimate is what makes him a solid choice for new players learning how to carry. It basically gives you a second life (as long as you have enough mana when dying). That's right. The enemy basically has to kill you twice in order to get any xp / gold from your death. Smart players will therefore often not focus on killing you during team fights, since it will only stop you for a short period of time. This leaves you free to smack the hell out of everyone! It's important to note that a hero like Anti-Mage, or any hero with illusions that builds a Diffusal Blade counter Skeleton King hard, as they will quickly drain all of his mana, making his ultimate pointless.

5. Sven (Carry): Sven is a simple solid hero capable of dealing incredible damage. His Q is a targetable stun/nuke that has a small aoe effect around the targeted hero/creep. His passive gives him a cleave dealing a % of his right click damage to all creeps / heroes close to whatever he is right clicking. His E is a buff that gives himself and his allies bonus armor and movement speed. Finally, his R is what makes Sven so scary. It increases his right click damage output by an insane amount. Hit R right as a team fight breaks out and watch the enemy team scurry away from your mighty sword.

That's about it for recommendations (for now). There is WAY more to DotA than just Heroes and their abilities, but when it comes to your very first steps this should help some people get started.

#6 Posted by Soap (3592 posts) -

@POLLIWOG said:

1. Tidehunter (Support/Initiator): Personally I think this is the easiest hero for new players starting the game. He has decent survivability as he is naturally tanky, his Q is a single target slow / light nuke, his passive makes you take less damage, and his e is a small aoe nuke that also reduces the right click damage of any hero caught in it for a short period of time. All of this makes him decent during the laning phase, but what really makes Tidehunter shine is his Ultimate. At level 6 grab your ultimate and you suddenly become a teamfight god. Ravage is a massive AOE stun that is fairly easy to pull of successfully. All you have to do is walk toward the enemy team and press R. Ravage as many as you can, press E hitting as many as possible while they are stunned, and then slow one and you've done your job. Leave it up to your team to clean up the rest.

As someone who is still a noob at Dota (got my first actual win last night! woot!) After trying Kunkka for 5 or 6 games and not getting anywhere (except pissed off with the endless puns) I've been using Tidehunter pretty much as you describe him here. He seems pretty decent even just to pester and annoy with the target slow/ light nuke attack while your waiting for stuff to happen.

I'm still open to branching out though so any suggestions?

#7 Edited by CheapPoison (731 posts) -

Lich

(support/initiator)

Lich doesn't have a stun but he has a pretty good slow that he can almost spam in lane duo to his E, sacrifice. Sacrifice kills one of your minions and restores some of your mana. With this you can keep a good mana supply to harras the enemy and completely deny(a normal deny only stops them getting a portion this is 100%) a creeps gold and exp to the enemy. When the game goes on and you start getting his shield (don't get it too soon) it is pretty much a good idea to keep that on key players in your team to keep em survivable.

And last but not least his Ulti, It is pretty much a magic missile that bounces between enemies doing damage on each bounce. It is a great teamfight ultimate that can do a lot of damage or mess up the opponents positioning as they scatter as to avoid the bounces from it. Try and use it when 2 or more and close together and when there are little or no creeps around so all the bounces go on heroes, Or use it when they are disabled in something like voids uli, enigmas ulti, right after a vacuum from darkseer.

Lion

(support/ganker/disabeler) Very good support with abilities that will pretty much be usefull throughout whole the game. Mainly cause he has 2 very good disables one being a line that stuns everyone in it (so look for opportunities or position yourself so you can hit as many targets as you can) and one single target disable. I would focus on maxing out his q as that is an aoe disable and does damage over his other skills. HE has one skill that drains mana from an enemy hero giving you just like lich mana to spam your spells if needed and to make sure the enemy heroes don't have resources to be scary in return. (but a lot of people consider it not such a great skill and a waste, myself included but that is a discussion for another time, IT can be a great help in lane depending on hos you play him.

His ulti is just nothing more but a huge single target nuke. It does so much damage that i would advice you to look for a gank everytime it is off of cooldown. Once you reach level 6 all the otehr heroes should also only be like 5-8, meaning you can nuke more then half their hp with one spell, couple that with a disable and a few autoattack that is almost a kill for sure, especially if you have help.

Try not to steal kills with this from your carries though, use it to soften up heroes or in teamfight finish of scary heroes before they have a chance to do their spells. (some heroes you just want dead as quick as possible, like if you can stop a lich from ulting in a team fight,... Or if there is an insta kill to be had quickly making it a 4v5 fight.

Venomancer

(support/initiator/pusher) A squishier hero that i feel might be simular to tidehunter as discribed above. His q is one of the strongest slows in the game lasting 15 seconds i think and it can hit multiple people and the damage is not bad. Poison sting is his passive which gives him a stacking poison and slowing effect on his attacks. With these he can really punish people that are out of position or make it hard to run away from him. His e creates a little turret that attacks enemies. This is a very good versatile skill, this can be used to stack them in a place to help defend or to push a tower, stop a wave. And they are a unit so they will provide vision for you for a limit amount of time and they have a pretty good placement range, use these to scout or provide vision of the jungle for you when you are in lane or pushing!

His ulti is a huge aoe that poisons everyone who has been hit with it. This will have them taking huge amounts of non lethal damage over the course of it. They will never die from this damage but if they have another tick of you poisons on them they will die from that one. Not as sexy as Tide's ulti but in a prolonged teamfight it takes its toll. Just like tide if you got your ulti on a lot of people and slowed some key members you done quite a bit already.

Jakiro (support/pusher) I would say a bit trickier cause he doesn't have as good an ulti as some of the guys above him but his selection of other spells might make up for that. His q is nothing too special just a pretty big damaging aoe.
But his W creates a huge wall of ice with a good range that will stun and damage everyone who walks through it as soon as it activates. (it doesn't stun right away it has a start up time) Great in teamfight, if you just drop it in a huge melee you are sure to get at least someone or restrict their movement, good to block of escape routes and the range makes it possible to pick of people from a range they might of thought was safe. (beware seeing as you don't aim it directly at a hero and it takes some wind up time it might be tricky to land sometimes but not as hard as landing a q from kunka so you should manage pretty quickly. Maybe consider using it as a follow up from another stun. His e is a passive that slows and lowers attack speed, (works on towers, great for pushing!) Try to use this one the guy who does the most damage in a teamfight, lowiring his attackspeed will severly lower his damage output.
His ulti is also a huge line of fire that deal damage as long as you stand in it, but there is very littel to keep them there, and people will move out fast if they are smart. But dropping it in a chaotic teamfight will always result in some damage and possibly messing up their positioning or wasting their time as they try and run out.

Vengeful spirit (support/initiator/nuker)

Skeleton king and Sven are the carries i would recommend starting out with seeing as they are beefy and have a stun. But be sure you are comfortable last hitting if you pick one of these up i'd say.

#8 Posted by ajamafalous (11998 posts) -

@soap said:

@POLLIWOG said:

1. Tidehunter (Support/Initiator): Personally I think this is the easiest hero for new players starting the game. He has decent survivability as he is naturally tanky, his Q is a single target slow / light nuke, his passive makes you take less damage, and his e is a small aoe nuke that also reduces the right click damage of any hero caught in it for a short period of time. All of this makes him decent during the laning phase, but what really makes Tidehunter shine is his Ultimate. At level 6 grab your ultimate and you suddenly become a teamfight god. Ravage is a massive AOE stun that is fairly easy to pull of successfully. All you have to do is walk toward the enemy team and press R. Ravage as many as you can, press E hitting as many as possible while they are stunned, and then slow one and you've done your job. Leave it up to your team to clean up the rest.

As someone who is still a noob at Dota (got my first actual win last night! woot!) After trying Kunkka for 5 or 6 games and not getting anywhere (except pissed off with the endless puns) I've been using Tidehunter pretty much as you describe him here. He seems pretty decent even just to pester and annoy with the target slow/ light nuke attack while your waiting for stuff to happen.

I'm still open to branching out though so any suggestions?

I'd definitely stay away from skillshot heroes for now (Kunkka, Pudge, Mirana, etc.), because if you can't land their skills, you aren't going to be of much use to your team and will just end up frustrated yourself.

Most of the previous suggestions in this thread are good.

#9 Posted by YI_Orange (1148 posts) -

I have one question, and that's about balance. I wanna know how you feel about the current state of balance and the variety of heroes that see play time? I stopped playing League of Legends because people would just move down a check list of champions trying to get the most bullshit possible on their team. Not only did the relatively OP champions hurt the enjoyment, but every game started to look the same.

#10 Posted by twigger89 (278 posts) -

I have one question, and that's about balance. I wanna know how you feel about the current state of balance and the variety of heroes that see play time? I stopped playing League of Legends because people would just move down a check list of champions trying to get the most bullshit possible on their team. Not only did the relatively OP champions hurt the enjoyment, but every game started to look the same.

There are some heroes that seem a little unbalanced (phantom lancer with his 4.2 agi gain per level is a great example) but honestly it is not individual heroes that fuck with balance, it's heroes combos. For example, leshrac and sand king are 2 good heroes but they are in no way unbalanced, but when you lane them together (or as the supports of a trilane) you get a really threatening kill lane that is going to ruin that lane for you.

In general everything in dota is counter-able to everything else, it's just not immediately obvious what those counters are.

#11 Posted by IndieFinch (242 posts) -

@yi_orange: There is really no "imbalanced" hero. Some heros might be stronger then others, currently the general consensus is that Phantom Lancer and Nyx are a bit strong. But neither of them is game breking, they just require less room for error. If your team sits back and lets Phantom Lancer get free farm for 30 min...then yes you will lose. But if your team actually purchases dust and makes an effort to shut him down...he will cause no issue. There are also always great counter picks to most heros so you just need to pick your team composition wisely.

#12 Posted by WasabiCurry (422 posts) -

I have a question. I have always been confused on what to buy in the game. Is there an easy way to understand how items work or what to buy in the beginning of each game?

I am a newb, but I really would like to play one day against real people instead of bots.

#13 Edited by EXTomar (4738 posts) -

I don't think enough discussion happens on gear. When new players are faced with the shop full of items and the shop pane with expensive high end items it is easy to make weird or bad decisions. Hell there are gear choices for some heroes I still don't understand completely why it works where I just accept it is. :)

In particular I don't think new players realize how potions work where it relies on avoiding combat to maximize effects. Or that some items have activation that are triggered on the "number keypad". Or that some items rotate effects when activated.

Online
#14 Edited by Mr_Skeleton (5144 posts) -

I have a question. I have always been confused on what to buy in the game. Is there an easy way to understand how items work or what to buy in the beginning of each game?

I am a newb, but I really would like to play one day against real people instead of bots.

For the start of the you should get some regen items (tango, slave and clarity) and some stat items like branches. After that it really depends on your hero and the game. Try using one of the hero in game guides.

#15 Edited by Soap (3592 posts) -

@extomar said:

I don't think enough discussion happens on gear. When new players are faced with the shop full of items and the shop pane with expensive high end items it is easy to make weird or bad decisions. Hell there are gear choices for some heroes I still don't understand completely why it works where I just accept it is. :)

In particular I don't think new players realize how potions work where it relies on avoiding combat to maximize effects. Or that some items have activation that are triggered on the "number keypad". Or that some items rotate effects when activated.

I'm just picking up a lot of this now, the shop is crazy daunting at first. It's not like I can sit back and take my time to work it all out either, every second sat staring at the shop I'm slowly letting the team down!

#16 Edited by CheapPoison (731 posts) -

Well just take half an hour before a game to go through the shop so you are familiar with the items.
And although the recommended items something aren't great or situational it is beter then sitting there for 3 minutes.

#17 Posted by twigger89 (278 posts) -

@extomar said:

I don't think enough discussion happens on gear. When new players are faced with the shop full of items and the shop pane with expensive high end items it is easy to make weird or bad decisions. Hell there are gear choices for some heroes I still don't understand completely why it works where I just accept it is. :)

In particular I don't think new players realize how potions work where it relies on avoiding combat to maximize effects. Or that some items have activation that are triggered on the "number keypad". Or that some items rotate effects when activated.

@soap said:

@extomar said:

I don't think enough discussion happens on gear. When new players are faced with the shop full of items and the shop pane with expensive high end items it is easy to make weird or bad decisions. Hell there are gear choices for some heroes I still don't understand completely why it works where I just accept it is. :)

In particular I don't think new players realize how potions work where it relies on avoiding combat to maximize effects. Or that some items have activation that are triggered on the "number keypad". Or that some items rotate effects when activated.

I'm just picking up a lot of this now, the shop is crazy daunting at first. It's not like I can sit back and take my time to work it all out either, every second sat staring at the shop I'm slowly letting the team down!

I have a question. I have always been confused on what to buy in the game. Is there an easy way to understand how items work or what to buy in the beginning of each game?

I am a newb, but I really would like to play one day against real people instead of bots.

There are 2 great ways to learn this.

1). Use the guide system that valve has implemented. This will tell you what to buy, when to buy it, and how to build your hero. While guides can be poorly done, most high rated guides will give of explanation of every item purchased so that you can understand why you are buying a certain item. This will allow you to understand the theory behind it and then customize the build to your liking.

2). Play bot games. Bot games are not this second class citizen's dota game. They are a great place to practice a new strategy, warm up before you play a real game, or learn the more mechanical aspects of dota (like the differences between potions and tangos, when it is a good time to rotate, why wards are so important, etc). Once you feel you got what you needed you can leave a bot game at any time, without the abandon penalty of a matchmade game.

#18 Edited by ajamafalous (11998 posts) -

@yi_orange said:

I have one question, and that's about balance. I wanna know how you feel about the current state of balance and the variety of heroes that see play time? I stopped playing League of Legends because people would just move down a check list of champions trying to get the most bullshit possible on their team. Not only did the relatively OP champions hurt the enjoyment, but every game started to look the same.

There are a few heroes that need tweaking, but nothing is overpowered. Everybody has counters. Phantom Lancer has stupid agility gain, but his laning phase is weak, and if you gank him with a dust he has no escape, and heroes with a lot of AOE (Kunkka, Queen of Pain, etc.) can clean up his illusions mid-late game without much trouble. Naix is strong at all phases of the game, but Bane trashes him (honorable mention to other heroes that go through BKB like Batrider, etc.). Honestly, there aren't any heroes that are broken or faceroll status or anything without trying; if your team is coordinated and makes any effort to deal with a hero before he gets out of control, you can easily stop him from becoming a factor.

As @twigger89 said, it's more about hero combos than anything, which is why team composition is so important. Drafting/picking/counterpicking properly is just as important as player skill level in Dota. I could be laning with a veteran friend of mine against a few scrubs that have only played a hundred games, but if we try to lane Riki and Zeus against some form of Leshrac/Shadow Demon/Sand King/Lina/Sven/Ogre Magi/Vengeful Spirit (take your pick on a double stun lane, really), we're going to get torn apart. That speaks nothing of making sure your carry/carries and mid have a favorable lane, whether your supports need to find farm somewhere to get up their core item if they're an item-dependent hero, having teamfight synergy, etc.

@wasabicurry said:

I have a question. I have always been confused on what to buy in the game. Is there an easy way to understand how items work or what to buy in the beginning of each game?

I am a newb, but I really would like to play one day against real people instead of bots.

@soap said:

@extomar said:

I don't think enough discussion happens on gear. When new players are faced with the shop full of items and the shop pane with expensive high end items it is easy to make weird or bad decisions. Hell there are gear choices for some heroes I still don't understand completely why it works where I just accept it is. :)

In particular I don't think new players realize how potions work where it relies on avoiding combat to maximize effects. Or that some items have activation that are triggered on the "number keypad". Or that some items rotate effects when activated.

I'm just picking up a lot of this now, the shop is crazy daunting at first. It's not like I can sit back and take my time to work it all out either, every second sat staring at the shop I'm slowly letting the team down!

Here is a good guide that people generally link to when someone new asks for help with the game. It explains the basics pretty well, I feel. Here's a video from the guide about how to spend your starting gold:

As far as learning the shop goes, just start up a practice game or bot game by yourself and spend 10 or 15 minutes looking through the shop at each item and where it's found. You'll pick it up pretty quickly. For recommended items, you can generally stick to what the in-game guide tells you to buy, and as you get better and learn more you'll be able to adapt it (e.g. their team doesn't have much magic damage, so even though the guide recommends it, I can skip Hood of Defiance and buy more armor or something).

#19 Edited by EXTomar (4738 posts) -

What would be a good guide for items is discussing the big ones in the secret shop. Hmm that is actually not a bad idea for a video or blog: Take each of the big items and discuss why it is useful for some classes (X item can be useful for A, B and can be useful for C in this situation) instead of the other way around (if you pick A hero, go for X item).

Online
#20 Posted by MetalSanchez (1 posts) -

I AM VERY INTERESTED IN ADVICE AND SOME TIPS!!!!!!!!

If anyone has some spare time and would be willing to offer some tips add me on steam. I'm still new to the game and have been using Lich(no I don't want to play as anyone else)

MetalNeverDies89 <----steam ID

Thanks in advance to anyone who is able to help :)

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